How to Optimize Online Videos for SEO

Nothing is more frustrating than creating high-quality videos, no one watches. That’s why you need to optimize your online videos for SEO, so your content is not only discoverable but also gets you more views and subscribers.

If you have already optimized your videos but are still not seeing the results you would expect, then these tips may help you finally achieve your goals.

Learn about the technical site optimization and gain proficiency in the SEO best practices with the SEO Certification Training Course. Enroll now!

Here are my top tips for how to optimize online videos for SEO, so you can help them rank higher in search results.

Place Your Keywords Correctly

You probably recognize that keywords remain an essential part of the SEO process – so, of course, is the keyword research.

In terms of online videos, there are a few specific places where keywords are necessary if you want to improve your search engine performance. They are:

  • Title

    Use the exact keyword once in your title, preferably at the beginning.
  • Description

    Use your keyword a few times throughout the description, making sure to include the exact keyword once in the first sentence.
  • Filename

    Use your exact keyword in the filename of your video.
  • Thumbnail

    Create a custom thumbnail that uses all or part of your keyword as text on the image (use large font size to make it more visible in search results).
  • Tags

    Include your keyword, or keywords, within the tags you assign to your video.
  • Hashtags

    Use your keyword for one of the three hashtags you are allowed to place at the bottom of your video’s description.
  • In Your Video

    Google and YouTube can both listen to your video, so be sure to say your keyword a few times throughout the video content.

SEO Course Preview

Optimize for User Interaction

User interaction – the number of people liking, subscribing, and commenting on your video – is a big ranking signal for your video content. 

To encourage viewers to like or subscribe to your video, or leave a comment, you should utilize annotations or end screens. These two features can significantly boost user interaction for your video, which makes it more likely for search engines to recommend your videos to more people.

Create Longer Videos

The longer your videos, the better your chances of ranking higher in search results.

That’s because one of the most important ranking factors (for YouTube, at least) is the total watch time.

Total watch time is the overall percentage of time that viewers watch your video. The longer your total watch time, the more likely it is YouTube will rank your video content higher in search results. Why? Because YouTube wants to promote videos that keep viewers on their platform longer.

Let’s say you have two different videos – one is 8 minutes long, and the other is 10 minutes long. If both videos have a total watch time of 50 percent, then your longer video is naturally going to have a longer total watch time, which will help it rank higher in YouTube and Google. 

How good are your skills in SEO and its nuances? Well, take up this free SEO Online Test and find out today!

Grab People’s Attention

If you want to learn how to optimize online videos for better SEO, then one of the most important pieces is creating an attention-grabbing start to your content.

YouTube says you need to do this in the first 15 seconds of your video.

That’s not much time, but it can be done by:

  • Letting people know what to expect from your video
  • Showing them you’ve already proven it works or stating your experience with it
  • Mentioning something specific they’ll get from watching your video

If you can grab someone’s attention in this period, then it’s much more likely they will continue watching your video, which ultimately sends a signal that your video is worth promoting in search results.

Optimizing your online videos is crucial for getting discovered, gaining views and subscribers, and – ultimately – maintaining your position in search results.

Try these tips with your existing and future videos, and keep tabs on your metrics to see how much progress you’ve made with these improvements. Check out Simplilearn’s YouTube and Video Marketing Certification Training for more helpful tips.

About the Author

Rob SandersRob Sanders

Rob Sanders is a digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience. During that time, Rob has helped a wide range of companies utilize new and emerging technologies to increase sales and profitability. As founder of RSO Consulting, Rob helps clients maximize their digital marketing efforts via SEO, SEM, SMO, and Web Analytics. He is responsible for many facets of the web analytics value chain, from identifying business goals and objectives to developing strategies and translating those into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Rob also teaches digital marketing and analytics classes throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a contributor for Simplilearn, Rob creates expert thought leadership content on a variety of digital marketing and analytics topics.

View More
  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.